I couldn’t let today pass without a tumblr entry on today’s march downtown (Spanish because the English-language media mostly ignored it). The cause of the day: immmigration reform. The target of the day: Ted Cruz.
Too bad I didn’t take pictures, but I’m getting less & less camera happy as the years go on and other people take pictures of bloody everything. If you want to see some, check this Facebook event page.
The march was beautiful. The turnout was phenomenal. We had church groups, labor groups, community groups, political advocacy groups, and a lot of individuals who just wanted to demonstrate for immigration reform. I marched next to a teacher from Dallas who had taken a personal business day and driven here for this march. What, nothing like this going on in DFW? This march was supposed to be nationwide.
The crowd gathered in Antioch Park, near the historic Antioch Baptist Church and the Chevron Plaza, and processed two-by-two down the sidewalk on Smith Street to the Mickey Leland Federal Reconstruction Project. As we arrived at the Federal Building, chanting and drumming and networking, I turned to longtime local activist Peggy Atwood and asked semi-rhetorically why Ted Cruz would have an office in the Federal Building. Wouldn’t it be more fitting for a senator who wants to decrease the size of the federal government to rent office space from a private-sector, free-market office building, rather than keeping a fancy downtown office at taxpayers’ expense?
The highlight of the whole affair for me was the papier-mâché puppets that someone made of Ted Cruz: Anti-Immigrant and Papa Rafael Cruz: Immigrant. I’m still looking for photos of them to link here.
I don’t think of Ted Cruz as “anti-immigrant” per se. I perceive him as anti-poor. He doesn’t have a problem with professional or middle-class immigrants, but he is against allowing economic refugees—those without the resources to immigrate legally—to cross into the United States for such trivial purposes as survival. His father, after all, came to the US as a political refugee from Battista’s Cuba, which in Cruz’s mind is hunky-dory (quite understandably). Here is a rundown of his positions on the issue of immigration reform and immigrants’ rights.
Senator Cruz’s astute legal mind could probably come up with a perfectly good argument for why undocumented immigrants should not be deported and should be given a path to citizenship. He was a debater in school, and that’s what debaters are good at: arguing both sides (not simultaneously) because they have to be able to do just that in competition. But he won’t. Even if he can conceive such an argument, he won’t articulate it. Despite his alleged Tea Party bona fides, he has too much invested in the status quo, in keeping poor people and immigrants scrambling for whatever crumbs they can find, in protecting the power and privilege of the moneyed establishment.
(Believe me, I’m not just gratuitously sprinkling Latin phrases into this entry, nor is it a reflection of the largely Latin crowd that gathered downtown.)